Mountbatten Pink??

I am working on a special project - so the Sangamon class escort carrier and Alabama/South Dakota class battleship have been temporarily deserted on the launching ways - details to be announced later.

One of the ships I am working up is Britain's heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire, eventually (and needlessly) sunk by Japanese naval aircraft in the Indian Ocean in 1942.

There is a photo of Dorsetshire in Raven and Roberts' Man O' War 1, County Class Cruisers, sporting the famous (or infamous) Mountbatten Pink. MB was the ever-innovative idea of Lord Louis "Dickie" Mountbatten, a much-loved favorite of the royal family (who was ultimately murdered by the IRA) and a very brave naval officer who (among other things) had his equally famous destroyer HMS Kelly blown out from under him during the Crete withdrawal debacle in Spring 1941. (He is less well liked in Canada, because of heavy Canadian casualties during the Dieppe test-landing/raid, which he planned and commanded.)

Anyway, in 1940 before the Admiralty standardized its camouflage, Mountbatten noticed how a ship with an obsolete reddish gray painting completely faded into the sunset and thought the shade should be used for camouflage. I assume Kelly was so painted, and many others followed his charismatic lead.

As it turned out, Mountbatten Pink could only be effective in certain conditions of dawn or dusk, and thanks to its red component stood out like a sore thumb at all other times. Some allege that light cruiser Manchester was sunk by motor torpedo boats while escorting a desperate convoy to Malta, exactly because its full MP painting inescapably loomed out of that day's morning fog.

The photo of Dorsetshire in R&R is listed as August 1941, so it presumably had its MP scheme during the time which interests me.

Matching my color creation against the Wikipedia entry for MP I came up with the color shown. From the photo of D, its seems MP was indeed fairly dark, and I think I'm close. Any opinions?

Now would you like to return to my home page or the main drawings page?

4Apr11